• Günter KampfEmail author


Polihexanide chloride (PHMB) is mostly bactericidal at 0.016–0.02% (1 h) and yeasticidal at 0.1% (5 min). The fungicidal and mycobactericidal activity depends on the species. Epidemiological cut-off values to determine acquired resistance have not been proposed yet. Elevated MIC values suggestive of PHMB resistance have been reported among some species including A. westerdijkiae, Shingomonas spp. and Azospirillum spp. (>1,000 mg/l) which are able to metabolize PHMB. Resistance genes have been described in S. cerevisiae (NCW2 gene) and E. coli (rhs genes). No cross-tolerance to other biocidal agents or antibiotics was found so far. Low-level exposure leads to no MIC change in 31 species, a weak MIC change in 18 species and a strong MIC change in 6 species being stable only in E. faecalis and S. aureus and resulting in MIC values as high as 31.3 mg/l (E. faecalis) or 23.5 mg/l (S. aureus). The effect of PHMB on biofilm formation or fixation is unknown; biofilm removal by PHMB is poor.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Hygiene and Environmental MedicineUniversity of GreifswaldGreifswaldGermany

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